Lindsey Boyd met her cofounder, Gwen Whiting, while studying Fiber Science at Cornell University. Post graduation, they’ve come to realize they spent WAY too much on dry-cleaning that didn’t even work. They searched to develop a solution and The Laundress was born. Save your dollars and your dresses by reading this interview.
You’re such an expert in fiber care! What are the worst three things people do to their clothes?
1-Dry clean too often
2-Put items in the dryer when they should be air dried
3-Use chlorine bleach
What is the top product you make that you think everyone should buy and why?
The Laundress Sport Detergent is the best product for removing odor, perspiration, and stains that stick to your workout clothing and other high performance fabrics.
There is nothing worse than thinking your sports bra is clean, and (much to your surprise) starts to smell bad before you have worked up a sweat!
What makes The Laundress so unique? What sets you apart from other cleaning products?
In addition to providing the product solutions, we also educate our customers on the proper care for their clothing and cleaning methods for their home. We provide the answers, as well as the product solutions for the best results.
There are so many institutionalized players working in fabric care. What was your biggest challenge breaking into the industry? Any smart marketing techniques you used?
The Laundress is an experiential product. It needs to be used first for customers to see the benefits and compare results to other products. Therefore, the challenge lies with convincing people to believe that our products work without trying them. From a marketing perspective, social media has been instrumental in building a viral word-of-mouth community around the brand. Tapping into key players in that realm has really helped us effectively market the brand and get new customers. We know that once someone tries The Laundress, they will be completely hooked!
Your product was created as an alternative to dry cleaning. What are the advantages of using Laundress? Is dry cleaning bad for your clothing?
We know from our Fiber Science studies that most fabrics do not have to be dry cleaned. The issues lie more with the construction of the garment, so a silk blouse that says “dry clean” can be washed. We look at the fabric content of the item to determine if it can be washed or not. Most manufacturers say dry clean, because this takes the ownership and liability away from them regarding care. However, fabrics such as silk, cashmere, wool, and denim are all highly washable.
What’s your favorite part about owning your own business?
My favorite part is the ability to make things happen without any corporate hurdles or red tape. Gwen and I are hustlers! When we see something we want, we like to move quickly and that flexibility doesn’t happen within a large corporate structure.
Best career advice you’ve ever received?
If you are passionate, you will be successful.
How has your life changed since having kids?
My children enrich my life and make it so much more fun. I love being a mom and watching them grow up!
How do you manage your time with family vs. work as busy working mama? Do you have any ways that you maximize your family time or routines?
I am very big on making lists. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to get everything done. With children, there is so much to do at once,and that is the biggest struggle. The way I balance it all is that when I am with them, I am with them 100 percent. They have my full attention, and I know that those moments are quality times for us.
Part of being a mom is cleaning up all of the messes! Please tell us how to remove some tough ones like coffee or red juice? (we drink a lot of coffee at my house, and someone keeps giving my kids that red juice;))
The Laundress Clean Talk blog is full of “recipes” for removing kid stains (see link below from our Make Messes Campaign). I always have The Laundress Stain Solution, Wash & Stain Bars, and All-Purpose Bleach Alternative at the ready in case anything goes down. The Laundress Surface Cleaner is also a must-have for spills and painting-gone-wrong moments!
Do you feel like your daughter is influenced by your work and being a working mama? Is she your little helper?
She loves hearing about what I do, and she loves using the products and (especially) smelling them. She has quite a nose on her. Her favorite scent is Classic. She is also a big fan of coming to my office to visit everyone and “working” at my desk.
What’s your favorite mommy and me activity?
I love painting with my kids, because that is an age appropriate activity right now where both kids can get involved. We also have a lot of fun with dance parties, which sometimes involve dressing up!
Three Pearls of Wisdom
Looking for another LADYBOSS feature? Check out our interview with Catherine McCord!